Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Sport | By

France drought continues with Scotland defeat

France drought continues with Scotland defeat

Renowned for his kicking abilities, Beauxis has 20 test caps but last played for France six years ago in a Six Nations defeat in Wales.

Les Bleus, who have not won an global test in 329 days, scored two tries through the impressive Teddy Thomas, Maxime Machenaud adding two conversions and two penalties with replacement scrumhalf Baptiste Serin also scoring a couple of penalties. In the second half they coughed up nine penalties to only three from Scotland. The halfback has been absent from his national team because of injury and involvement in the British and Lions tour of New Zealand.

"It was worse this time", said Guirado. "I'm not a very good watcher".

But his Glasgow colleague and flat-mate Ali Price has made way at scrum-half for 32-year-old former Scotland captain Laidlaw, who will be making his first global start since he suffered an ankle injury in the corresponding fixture 12 months ago.

Scotland have won seven of their last eight home games in all competitions and must throw themselves unequivocally into this encounter.

"We know his qualities, especially with the boot", said Brunel. "We put a team out to perform".

However, the third quarter proved to be a penalty-riddled affair as Laidlaw and French replacement Serin Baptiste traded a couple of goal kicks as each side desperately sought to establish some sort of ascendancy. "We can't keep losing like this because of us and our mistakes".

Laidlaw, who was replaced as captain permanently at the start of the year by John Barclay after almost seven years at the helm, will win his 60th cap for his country and will attempt to get a re-jigged back line firing on all cylinders after failing to live up to their attacking reputation on the opening weekend.

They responded by going right up the middle as Jonny Gray barged over Machenaud with a shuddering shoulder barge.

Grant Gilchrist and Russell then moved the ball quickly out to Maitland to dot down in the corner. The outstanding Thomas struck again, chipping over Stuart Hogg on the outside before taking advantage of an unpredictable bounce to beat Laidlaw to the ball and convert.

But Thomas chipped the ball into space on his right wing and collected it after Laidlaw was deceived by the vicious rebound before touching down between the posts, setting up Machenaud for a routine conversion.

Scotland, though, were proving harder to shake off than last week and hit back again on 31 minutes.

A vociferous home crowd certainly had reason to celebrate in the end as Scotland overturned a six-point half-time deficit, with Laidlaw capitalising on France's ill-discipline by producing a flawless performance from the kicking tee.

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